There can’t be a source of philanthropy that has done more for more people and organizations in our
region than the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation. From small community clubs to the biggest
institutions in the region, the benefits of the Byrne Foundation’s generosity have been widespread for
The Hand to Heart Project has been fortunate to be among the Byrne beneficiaries. From the start of the program eleven years ago, the Foundation has been one our biggest and most consistent financial
supporters. There have been years when we weren’t sure we had enough in the coffers to stick around
for much longer, but whenever that was true, someone came through with a difference-making
donation. In many instances, it was the Byrne Foundation.
But even with that great history, this year is different. This year, the Byrne Foundation not only provided the same level of support it’s been providing for years, it also offered an additional $10,000 if we could match it.
Which we now have done.
That additional $20,000 will go a long way in helping us as we look to begin our 12th year next month. We are doing more in-home massage with people who have cancer than ever before. We are offering massage and compassionate touch to the caregivers of people with cancer more than we ever have. We are adding another massage therapist to our program to help us keep up. Our prospects are as bright as they have ever been. Everyone connected with Hand to Heart is grateful for the tremendous help provided by The Byrne Foundation.
From the start, our program has relied on the generosity of donors big and small. We send out an annual appeal letter every fall that attracts contributions from $20 to $2,000. Families sometimes choose us to receive memorial contributions. A number of family funds and foundations have been with us from the start, as well, sometimes because of connections I never could have predicted. Back in 2007, I was making cold calls to trusts and foundations I found on the Internet, looking for donations to help us launch the program. In one case, a man answered and listened politely to my spiel. After a moment, he said something like: Well, actually, we are focused primarily land conservation projects.
Oh, I said.
But my wife is a massage therapist, he said.
And she was just diagnosed with cancer. So I think you should send something.
I did send him a letter of request, and that charitable trust has been supporting Hand to Heart with a
significant donation every year since. Without community support like we’ve been getting for years, a
small nonprofit like ours – with no government grants and no large endowment – couldn’t exist. We’re still here, so it’s working.
This is a good opportunity to remind everyone about the beautiful queen-size quilt that we are raffling
off this spring. It was made and donated by the Cornish Quilters to benefit Hand to Heart, so get your
tickets before the drawing in late June. Tickets are $3 each, two for $5 and five for $10. Don’t take the
chance of missing out. Contact us to get your tickets by phone at (603) 542-8367, or by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Or through our Facebook page. You can also see a photo of the quilt
on the Facebook, although please keep in mind that the photo doesn’t do justice to the colors, which
are lighter and brighter than in the picture.